Hosea’s Second Symbolic Marriage
3 Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman ([a]Gomer) who is beloved by her husband and yet is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the [b]children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love the raisin cakes [used in the feasts in pagan worship].” 2 So I bought her for myself for [c]fifteen pieces of silver and a homer and a half of barley [the price of a common slave]. 3 And I said to her, “You shall stay with me for many days. You shall not play the prostitute nor shall you have a man; so I will also be toward you [until you have proved your faithfulness].” 4 For the sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or [idolatrous] pillar, and without [d]ephod or teraphim (household idols). 5 Afterward the sons of Israel will return [in deep repentance] and seek the Lord their God and [seek from the line of] David their king [the King of kings—the Messiah]; and they will come trembling to the Lord and to His goodness and blessing in the last days.(A)
- Hosea 3:1 The ambiguous wording might be interpreted as referring to a different woman, but this time Hosea is told only to love her, not to take, i.e. marry her. Also, the application of the symbolism to God’s relationship with Israel seems to depend upon the woman’s being Gomer. The purpose of the ambiguities probably is to reflect the emotional estrangement between Hosea and Gomer and the contempt that she deserved for her behavior. Matthew’s anonymous reference to Bathsheba literally as “wife of Uriah” (Matt 1:6).
- Hosea 3:1 See note 1:10.
- Hosea 3:2 Hosea bought Gomer back after she had become a slave. The silver and barley together totaled about thirty pieces of silver. See Ex 21:7, 32; 2 Kin 7:1, 16, 18.
- Hosea 3:4 A garment worn by priests when seeking divine counsel.